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Military Training: Observations on the Army's Implementation of a Metric for Measuring Ground Force Training

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Congressional rept.

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In 2008, the Army issued a field manual that identified the need to expand its training focus so units would be trained and ready to operate across a full spectrum of operations, including offensive, defensive, stability, and civil support operations. To support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has focused its ground force training on preparing units for counterinsurgency operations. With the withdrawal from operations in Iraq, fewer units are engaged in counterinsurgency operations and now have more time to train for full-spectrum operations. To reflect the shift in training focus, the Army, in April 2011, updated its training strategy and also established a new metric to measure training activity -- referred to as the full spectrum training mile metric. This metric replaced the Armys traditional tank mile metric, which represented the average number of miles the Army expected to drive its tanks while conducting training. In its fiscal year 2012 budget materials, the Army provided background information on its transition to the new metric, and starting in fiscal year 2012, began using the new metric. House report 112-78 directed GAO to review the Armys transition to the full-spectrum training mile metric and report its findings by February 28, 2012. To address this mandate, we determined the following 1 how the Armys full-spectrum training mile metric differs from its traditional tank mile metric 2 the key assumptions associated with the full-spectrum training mile metric and to what extent these assumptions reflect actual conditions and 3 to what extent the Army uses the full-spectrum training mile metric to measure training execution and develop training cost estimates. This report includes information on how training is reflected in the Armys operation and maintenance budget-justification materials. We briefed the congressional defense committees in January 2012 and have included the briefing in enclosure 1 of this report.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Combat Vehicles

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